No doubt Arsenal will be feeling the pressure as their rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United linger only one point behind in fourth and fifth place on the Premier League table. With only one victory in the last four matches and two games left to play, simply put the Gunners must win their two remaining games to secure third spot and can’t rely on the Spuds and Newcastle to drop points in their remaining games.
The Gunners go into this match with a couple of injuries, but nothing that affects their starting line-up from last game-week. Walcott still remains out injured with a hamstring injury, but could surprisingly make a return in Arsenal’s last game of the season against West Brom. Crocked midfielder Abou Diaby looks to be out for the season after suffering a calf injury late in last weeks match against Stoke after coming on as a substitute.
With Arteta out for the season, Welshman Aaron Ramsey will continue to play in the starting line-up alongside Rosicky and Song. Ramsey has had sub-par performances as of late, but hopefully he is able to pick up his game for the remaining two matches. No match is a guaranteed win in the Premier League and we need everyone to perform, particularly Ramsey who has been losing possession cheaply in dangerous situations as of late.
Other than this, the starting line-up is likely to remain the same as last weekend with the possibility that Oxlade-Chamberlain may be selected ahead of Benayoun. It is crunch time now for the Gunners and there is now no leeway for anything other than a win!
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Basically there are no changes from the team at the weekend. We have small bumps and bruises from our last game at Stoke but everybody who started should be available again.
on Johan Djourou…
He should be back after his foot injury.
on Abou Diaby, who was on the bench at Stoke…
He is out. He has a calf problem. He will probably be out for the two games we have left.
on Theo Walcott…
If all goes well he is back in normal training on Thursday or Friday. Then we have to assess the risk of a setback, so we will see. If all goes well he could be back for the next weekend.
on Per Mertesacker…
He is doing well. Considering his shape and the fact he has six weeks to go, he should be available for Germany [at Euro 2012].
When you look at Norwich, the squad is not as small as people think it is.
I agree that they did come into this league with relatively unknown players but what is fantastic in this job is that it is not about names, it is about performances. They have done remarkably well.
Sagna Koscielny Vermaelen Gibbs
Benayoun Ramsey Rosicky Gervinho
Van Persie (c)
Arsenal to win:
There are even odds of 2/9 for the Gunners to win at home.
William Hill & Skybet are offering the same odds of 11/2.
Norwich to win:
Skybet & William Hill are offering the best odds of 12/1 for the visitors to win away.
Skybet = 13/2
William Hill = 7/1 – best odds